SCHOOL children in Tanzania now have the chance to introduce running into their sports lessons thanks to a generous donation from the team behind this year’s Swindon Half Marathon.

More than 500 t-shirts were left over from September’s race from people who had signed up to run but didn’t show or those who didn’t complete the 13.1 mile distance.

In the weeks that followed, the majority of the t-shirts were handed out to runners taking part in Park Runs across the town.

But with almost 100 small or extra small t-shirts left, organisers of the half marathon decided to donate them to the Running Buddies project that helps get kids into running in Africa.

This week, the team were able to share the good news on Facebook as well as a photo showing pupils from the Martin Shamba School, in Tanga, sporting their new gear.

Graeme Hardie, one of the race directors, said: “We knew we wanted to donate the t-shirts somewhere when the race had finished as we had been through the same process before when organising triathlons. We were made aware of the project and by pure coincidence Rachel Dudman, who is behind it, got in touch with me soon after.

“We ordered enough t-shirts and medals for everyone because there would be nothing worse than completing it and there not being enough to go around so when people didn’t show we had some left.

“We’ve made sure everything from the race got recycled and donated so that people benefit rather than it sitting in an empty garage somewhere.”

For many children in Tanga, they can only afford the clothes they wear to school but now thanks to the t-shirt donations, they will have additional sportswear to use during PE lessons.

Rachel, who teaches at Great Malvern Primary School outside Worcester, said: “The response has been fantastic and the project started after a few of us had a chat following a Park Run in Worcester.

“We all said we have these t-shirts from races that we never use so we thought we would gather as many as possible and donate them to our partner school in Africa.”

A total of 700 t-shirts were handed out to pupils.

As well as the leftover t-shirts going to good use, the leftover medals also went to a good cause as the ribbons were donated and the metal melted down, raising £43.

This year’s race, which was organised by LG Running Ltd and 113 Events, saw around 2,000 people compete and it is hoped that number will build on next year.

“So far 200 runners have signed up for next year’s race and you always get people who have done a race and look to sign up again and so we didn’t want to miss out on that opportunity,” Graeme added.

“I am quite confident we will get around 3,000 or 3,500 people next year and we want to build it at a manageable level.”

To sign up for next year’s race, visit